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Iran Foreign Minister Surprises G7 Leaders With Visit

Javad Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister surprisingly visited the G7 summit in France this Sunday, to hold talks with world leaders that lasted three hours, according to Reuters.

The official, who is under individual sanctions by Washington, spoke at length with French President Emmanuel Macron but the talks did not end in anything concrete.

“The discussions that were held between the president and Zarif were positive and will continue,” the official said in a statement.

Three unnamed sources told Reuters that Tehran will demand increased oil exports if it is to discuss the nuclear deal.

“As a goodwill gesture and a step toward creating space for negotiations, we have responded to France’s proposal. We want to export 700,000 bpd of oil and get paid in cash ... and that is just for a start. It should reach to 1.5 million bpd,” one of the sources said.

Another added that the ballistic missile program of the country was non-negotiable. “Iran’s ballistic missile program cannot and will not be negotiated. We have underlined it clearly and openly,” the source said,.

Reuters reports that Iran was in the spotlight for much of the Saturday talks between world leaders as European governments want to uphold the so-called Iran nuclear deal while the Trump administration wants to renegotiate it in a way that would significantly reduce Iran’s regional influence in the Middle East.

Among the ideas discussed at the G7 meeting on Saturday were an easing of some U.S. sanctions, which have targeted mainly Iran’s energy industry as vital for government revenues. Alternatively, the group could find some sort of compensation for the revenue loss as a result of the sanctions.

Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to the G7 summit caught the U.S. participants by surprise, one U.S. official told Reuters. No one from the U.S. delegation met with the Iranian minister during the weekend.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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